Photo Credit: Amanda44/Wikimedia Commons
I don’t have many fond memories of my childhood. My father was an abusive alcoholic, my mother was just trying to survive, and I didn’t have many friends. I have a few memories of fighting, fear, and some especially traumatizing events. I have even fewer memories of happy days. I remember my mom getting her arm run over by the car one day as she tried to get us all in the car and away from my crazy dad. I remember having a lot of fear. I also remember some sweet times with my wonderful grandparents. For the most part, though, my mind seems to have blocked out much of my childhood. I am grateful for that.
Photo Credit: Higor Douglas/Wikimedia Commons
I didn’t have much hope as a child. My family didn’t attend church, and as far as I could tell, there wasn’t much to be hopeful for. My life was just what it was. One summer, an elderly couple I had never met stopped by our house to ask if my siblings and I would like to attend VBS at their church. I had no idea what VBS was, but my dad said yes. I remember my mom being angry; she was never impressed by the church growing up and didn’t want us to attend. I don’t remember a lot about that VBS except that I had fun and decided to continue attending church after it ended. One of my fondest memories is watching the sunset from the back seat of the car on our way to church. I felt so safe and I was able to really enjoy the beauty of those sunsets.
Without a doubt, that summer changed the course of my life. For the first time, I had hope. I had a belief in something bigger than my situation. When we finally made it away from my dad and moved to another state, my step-dad heard that I was going to church before we moved, and he arranged for me to go to church with a friend’s family. At that church I developed wonderful friendships and a close relationship with my Lord. In eighth grade I bonded with a girl who is my best friend to this day because we both loved the Lord. I often think back to that summer. My heart is full of thankfulness for those sweet neighbors and their obedience to the Lord. I am so grateful that God stepped into a life that seemed to be without hope and made a way for me.
Summers That Changed Us Series
This post was a part of the “Summers That Changed Us” series going on this month at Managing Your Blessings. Be sure to check out other great posts in the series!